Date: January 19, 2017
Location: Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: D’Angelo Dinero, Josh Matthews
The more things change, the more they stay the same. In the staying the same category, Lashley is yet again the #1 contender to Eddie Edwards’ World Title as those two have been feuding for months now. In the changing category, Feast or Fired has been changed into Race for the Chase, which has some unique rules but is still a four briefcase ladder match. Let’s get to it.
We open with a recap of Lashley becoming #1 contender again last week.
Race for the Case
Matt Hardy, Jeff Hardy, Mahabali Shera, Crazzy Steve, Trevor Lee, Eli Drake, Jesse Godderz, Kingston, Bram, Mike Bennett, Tyrus
The idea here is there are four cases with numbers inside. Starting with #1, the four winners can pick whatever match they want, though matches can’t be repeated (meaning all four can’t pick to fight for the World Title or to have a cage match). Jeff is still listed as Brother Nero, despite Matt freeing him from that name a few weeks ago.
Of course it’s a wild brawl to start with everyone going for a case instead of just waiting around for someone else to be busy. Tyrus comes in and starts throwing suplexes, allowing Drake to pull down the red briefcase. Pope doesn’t understand the rules as everyone keeps brawling on the floor.
Lee stomps Bennett in the chest and runs up to grab the blue briefcase. Lee dives off the top onto everyone else and escapes with his case, leaving Bennett to pull Steve down. We take a break and come back with Steve being thrown to the floor as Josh gets to say “playing defense” for the tenth time in the match. Bennett superkicks Matt but everyone keeps cutting everyone else off.
Steve starts cleaning house but Matt has a pre-mo-neetion telling him to get the green case. That sends everyone after it though, leaving Godderz to go for the gold case, which falls right into the hands of the DCC. Well Kingston that is but the DCC is credited with securing it. Matt takes Bennett out and Jeff gets the green case to end the match at 13:03.
Rating: D+. I never know how to grade something like this as it’s just chaos with the real entertainment coming later on when we get to the reveal. I mean, it’s basically still Feast or Fired with Josh talking about how various people can challenge for various title shots which just happen to line up with the division they would usually compete in. Eh at least it felt a bit fresh though and that’s a good thing.
Here’s a clip of Drew Galloway debuting for the sake of setting up his Grand Championship shot later tonight. Uh, maybe we should show him in the Grand Championship Tournament instead of something from years ago?
We see Moose’s debut as well, which gets the same question.
Drew Galloway wants the Grand Championship instead of the World Title.
Lashley has a proposition for Edwards.
Another video on Lashley vs. Carter from last week.
Lashley comes to the ring and says there’s nothing stopping him from facing Eddie Edwards for the World Title. That means a challenge to Eddie, who comes out and says he’d love to face Lashley anywhere anytime. Eddie wants to know the grand plan so Lashley rips on him for winning the title and defending it via flukes. Lashley’s big idea is a thirty minute Iron Man match and the champ says it’s on. The brawl starts and Davey Richards comes out for the save.
Maria calls Braxton Sutter and tells him to see her when he gets to the arena. Brooke comes in and tells Maria to stay out of her business.
Brooke vs. Deonna Purrazzo
Madison Rayne is on commentary again with that annoying voice. Purrazzo has been everywhere as of late, appearing on NXT, Smackdown and Ring of Honor in recent weeks and months. Rayne talks about these two fighting three years ago on a One Night Only show so I guess this is a rematch? Does that qualify as major in TNA? We hear about Brooke’s reality show as she takes Purrazzo down and puts on a Muta Lock minus the leg tie. Deonna knees her in the face and shouts a lot, earning herself a flapjack into a not great nipup. The Tesshocker ends Purrazzo at 4:39.
Rating: D. Was anyone missing Brooke? I mean, it’s not like the division doesn’t need the extra help but the bad theme song (making her the female Billy Gunn) feels way out of place with how far women’s wrestling has come in recent years. Brooke isn’t a bad thing to have back but the whole division is such a wreck that she might help a lot.
Post match Sienna lays Brooke out.
Tyrus tells us to stay tuned for the briefcase reveal.
Sutter comes up to see Maria and they talk about Allie, who still works for Maria. She wants Braxton to quit training Allie and whispers something in his ear, which seems to get to him. Now he agrees to quit training her and Maria sends him off to find Laurel. My goodness GET TO THE END OF THIS STORY ALREADY.
It’s time for Fact of Life with Tyrus doing a long intro for Eli (“He loves his mother and is a stand up Republican.”) before explaining the rules for Race for the Chase. Drake goes first and has case #4, which is last place. After taking time to decide who speaks for the DCC (which no one winds up doing), they get case #2.
Lee is impressed with the quality of the desk and we get some comedy until Tyrus offers Lee a trade: one briefcase for another, plus a shirt. Lee wants some of Tyrus’ clothes so the deal is off. Trevor can’t open the briefcase so Tyrus does it for him, revealing case #3, meaning Jeff gets #1. Jeff doesn’t know who he’s fighting but they’ll fade away and classify themselves as obsolete.
We look at Galloway winning the World Title, which again has NOTHING to do with what he’s doing tonight.
Moose beat Mike Bennett at Bound For Glory.
Braxton breaks up with Allie and ends their training.
Here are Rockstar Spud and Aron Rex with Rex coming out to the Hallelujah chorus which is in no way shape or form copying his WWE character. Robbie E. comes out before Rex, now in flesh colored trunks and lipstick, can say anything. It’s time for a tag match.
Robbie E./Swoggle vs. Aron Rex/Rockstar Spud
Swoggle and Spud get things started with Josh talking about Schitt’s Creek which is ABSOLUTELY HILARIOUS. Spud sends Swoggle into the corner and it’s off to Rex for some chatting. Swoggle grabs his foot so Rex screams that he’s being touched and tags Rex back in. A GTS drops Spud and it’s off to Robbie so things can speed up. Everything breaks down and Swoggle does a Stinkface because this is your comedy of the match. Spud hits Swoggle with the loaded ring and Rex gets the pin at 4:16.
Rating: D-. See, Rex is effeminate and therefore funny. Ignore the fact that it’s not funny of course because this is what passes for comedy around here. Somehow this is an improvement over Rex’s previous character (Did he have a character?) though, which continues to prove the point that Rex isn’t that interesting and needed a character like the one he complained about having in WWE.
We look at Galloway’s heel turn.
We FINALLY get to something Grand Championship related with Moose winning the title from Rex.
Video on Rosemary vs. Jade in the cage to set up next week’s Monster’s Ball match.
Sutter has to escort Laurel out and open the door for her.
Video on the Grand Championship tournament.
Grand Championship: Moose vs. Drew Galloway
Moose is defending and Drew gets a jobber’s entrance. But we had time to look at Drew’s debut against the Beat Down Clan? Drew clotheslines him down to start so Moose nips up. A chop off goes nowhere so Drew grabs a piledriver for two. Another slugout wraps up the first round, which goes to Drew.
Round two starts after a break with both guys hitting big boots and Drew scoring with something like a Death Valley Driver onto the apron. Moose powerbombs him onto the apron as well but misses a middle rope moonsault. Galloway grabs the Iron Maiden but Moose hangs on for about forty five seconds to end the round.
That round actually goes to Moose for reasons of pure drama as the announcers bury the judges. It says a lot when I completely agree with Josh and Pope but it’s true here. They trade failed finishers and kick each other in the face to no avail. Drew gets dropkicked out of the air but he kicks Moose low, which isn’t a DQ but rather a point deduction. So these matches are No DQ? Shouldn’t that have been mentioned at some point? Not that it matters as Drew hits the Claymore as soon as the referee restarts the match for the pin and the title at 14:08.
Rating: C-. I’ve seen worse endings but they couldn’t have Moose kick out of the first kick and then lose? If nothing else this just shows how overcomplicated the rules are as they really could get by with just a basic TV Title with a ten minute time limit but that’s not revolutionary enough or something. Drew is a good choice for champion and there’s nothing wrong with putting the title on him here when he was too banged up to get it in the first place.
Drew mocks the judges to end the show.
Overall Rating: D+. This really was a change of pace but unfortunately the show went from bad to really just boring. As is so often the case, TNA doesn’t understand how to wrap up a story and so many of them (Lashley vs. Edwards, Maria vs. Allie, the Hardys, though less so in their case) just keep going far beyond the point of interest. The wrestling was few and far between tonight and the first match is barely wrestling in the first place. It’s certainly not the worst show in the world but, again, this doesn’t give me hope for the new direction TNA is going in.
Eli Drake, Trevor Lee, DCC and Jeff Hardy won Race for the Case
Brooke b. Deonna Purrazzo – Tesshocker
Aron Rex/Rockstar Spud b. Robbie E./Swoggle – Ring to the head
Drew Galloway b. Moose – Claymore
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